After announcing policies that most gun owners saw as alienating, Dick’s Sporting Goods said it will go one step further and destroy its remaining inventory of firearms dubbed “assault weapons.”
A spokeswoman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the remaining inventory at the retailer’s Field & Streams stores will be destroyed and then recycled.
“We are in the process of destroying all firearms and accessories that are no longer for sale as a result of our February 28th policy change,” she said. “We are destroying the firearms in accordance with federal guidelines and regulations.”
Responding to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine’s Day, Dick’s led the charge in altering store policies regarding gun sales and AR-type weapons. Company executives revised store policy to restrict gun sales from buyers under 21, and ban bump stocks, “assault weapons” and high high capacity magazines.
While the retailer received broad praise by gun control advocates, Dick’s has been met with resistance by gun rights advocates. The company has been named in two lawsuits alleging age discrimination since buyers between ages 18-20 are legally permitted to buy firearms.
Also, some investment analysts slammed the company for continuing to sell guns but limiting the supply and alienating customers by adopting a “disadvantageous political alignment.” Nonetheless, Dick’s chief executive said they were prepared for the social and possible financial backlash.
But Dick’s has weathered this storm before. Following the deadly Sandy Hook school shooting, Dick’s stopped selling AR-style firearms but continued selling them at the Field & Stream locations, which there are about 35 across the country.
A handful of other high-profile retailers followed in Dick’s footsteps in March, including Walmart, Kroger and L.L. Bean. Although shares of Dick’s have fallen 45 percent from 2016 highs, price per share since February’s decision has held steady. Dick’s stock ended Friday with more than a 2 percent increase.